Mar 1, 2017

Facebook artificial intelligence spots suicidal users

Facebook also announced new ways to tackle suicidal behaviour on its Facebook Live broadcast tool and has partnered with several US mental health organisations to let vulnerable users contact them via its Messenger platform. Facebook has offered advice to users thought to be at risk of suicide for years, but until now it had relied on other users to bring the matter to its attention by clicking on a post's report button. "We know that speed is critical when things are urgent," Facebook product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch told the BBC. The director of the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline praised the effort, but said he hoped Facebook would eventually do more than give advice, by also contacting those that could help. Ms Callison-Burch acknowledged that contact from friends or family was typically more effective than a message from Facebook, but added that it would not always be appropriate for it to inform them. The latest effort to help Facebook Live users follows the death of a 14-year-old-girl in Miami, who livestreamed her suicide on the platform in January.

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